When most Pennsylvanians think of fair treatment, they probably don’t think about an Oklahoma-based dark money organization abusing its non-profit status, suing teachers in Pennsylvania and misleading union members, but that’s exactly what the latest Koch Brothers connected entity to invade the Keystone State is up too.
Americans For Fair Treatment is one of the latest front groups devised and set up by a web of incestuous union busting organizations to launch an effort to convince working families that unions are bad. The intentionally named organization, one Americans For Fair Treatment official said it wasn’t a coincidence the organizations initials came so close to the American Federation of Teachers, is comprised of individuals working for State Policy Network affiliates who’ve spent years fighting against raising the minimum wage and cheaper health care, denigrating homecare workers, teachers, and other public servants, and attempting to bust unions all across the country to serve their anti-worker agenda.
An article in the Wall Street Journal recently highlighted the Janus V. AFSCME case and how organizations were preparing for a decision that would hurt working families. One of the highlighted organizations was Americans For Fair Treatment and their recently hired Director of Outreach Keith Williams. The article notes that it’s going to be his job to mislead union members about the importance of collectively bargained contracts. An interesting irony for a 43-year old retired teacher who must’ve had an incredible collectively bargained pension to be able to “retire” at such young age.
An email from the Commonwealth Foundation showcasing the article said all you need to know about this latest front group. It stated that when the Wall Street Journal called, they knew just who to connect the reporter with. In fact, all they likely had to do was hand the phone over to Commonwealth Foundation CEO Charles Mitchell who, no surprise here, sits on the board of Americans For Fair Treatment as well as individuals from other State Policy Network affiliates in Michigan and New York.
This is a common practice for State Policy Network affiliates in an effort to make it look like these various groups are different from each other. In fact, former Commonwealth Foundation CEO Matthew Brouillette sits on the board of The Fairness Center, an organization registered at the same address in Oklahoma as Americans For Fair Treatment, who have also almost exclusively sued unions in Pennsylvania.
Make no mistake, Americans For Fair Treatment are a front group intent on making it harder for you to collectively bargain a contract to improve wages, working conditions, and enjoy retirement security. They will spend the next year reaching out to union members across the country with outright lies and misleading statistics in an effort to get them to drop your union membership.
If you’ve been contacted by Americans For Fair Treatment, or any of its connected organizations like The Commonwealth Foundation and The Fairness Center, send us a tip at the PA Spotlight tip line. These billionaire-funded front groups must be held accountable.